Ukraine: This place feels familiar. I’ve been here before.

Or maybe it just reminds me of another place. Was it Iran, 1953? Guatemala, 1954? Was it Congo, 1961? Chile, 1973? Maybe it was Iraq, 1990. Or Iraq, 2003. Or Libya, 2011. Or Syria, 2013. Or Vietnam. Or …

Something seems so very déjà vu. Some regime that is not sufficiently open to the embrace of “Western love” and then there are mobs and then the US government and the UK government and their allies suddenly see the need to “do the right thing” and help the public rid themselves of a corrupt ruler and enjoy vibrant, sunshiny democracy. (No matter that this man was actually elected.)


The problem is, you can only believe that the West truly cares about the people of Ukraine and their democracy if you have zero historical memory. Or if your analysis of all of these events comes from news organizations that don’t ever really, fully do their jobs.

The US corporate media never changes its spots. After being tricked and lied to on Vietnam, the first Gulf War, the Iraq invasion, Libya, Syria, and just about everything else, it once again takes the US foreign policy establishment at its word that it only wishes to do the right thing. The right thing. It bears repeating.

We’re told that the US and its allies are just thrilled about people going into the streets to overthrow corruption and excesses by financial elites.

Yet, when people tried that in … the US … the police were there in force to shut them down. Occupy looked a bit like the Ukrainian uprising, except that the US establishment was desperate to crush it. (For the ultimate in this, see our exclusive report on a suppressed FBI investigation into plans to use high-powered snipers to kill Occupy leaders … no, this is not a joke.)

Also, as with Iraq (Saddam), Libya (Qaddafi), Syria (Assad), etc., the West has a long history of getting rid of leaders who exhibit any streak of independence. Their dislikability is not the issue. The West has shown it doesn’t mind tyrants at all — provided they are our tyrants. It left those above-mentioned fellows alone, it did business with them … until it decided not to. Meanwhile, there are the charming rulers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Gulf mini-monarchies and the like. (Here’s a nifty list of dictators the US especially loved.)

In the case of Ukraine, one thing is clear: awful guy #1 (Yanukovych) was made a better offer for rescuing his plummeting economy by awful guy #2 (Putin) than by the West (awful guys #3-10). So he did what he had to. He took the better deal. Plenty of people in his country have objected to his turning to Moscow, for a lot of different, self-interested reasons. But one could argue that he made a prudent decision. One could also note that it’s not unheard of that smaller countries try to maintain close and friendly relations with a more powerful and aggressive nation next door (Canada and Mexico, anyone?)

A Stand Against Corruption?

One of the more popular media themes has been the blatant corruption of the Ukrainian leader. But before we trash Yanukovych for “enriching himself,” take a look at the splendor in which the American president resides, and look at how comfortably our Bushes and our Clintons live after leaving the White House. Everybody benefits from the endemic corruption of the global system….except for the people whose labors actually sustain it.

Recently, the debate about Ukraine has begun to move on to whether the opposition to Yanukovych is driven by civilized people or dangerous neo-Nazis and fascists. The problem with this debate is that, even in a best case scenario, with a clean slate of rosy-cheeked “reformers” in place, you’ll have a new government that must turn to the West, further isolating Russia and goading Putin to lash out.

And then there’s this little thing: everything, pretty much, is about money. And not just Yanukovych’s hankering for the finest gold toilet fixtures. The battle with Russia, like coming battles with China, and like just about every intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere, is for control of energy supplies—the greatest source of wealth in the history of the world.

It’s worth noting that the Middle East is not the next big thing when it comes to energy supplies. The former Soviet Union is. And after that, it’s the Arctic — where guess who is the West’s biggest competitor? Why, Russia.

Who blocked the impending coalition invasion of Syria? A wily Vladimir Putin.

So you can recognize Putin for what he is — another egomaniacal tyrant — and still recognize that he provides an essential balance to what would otherwise be an unchallenged superpower hegemony.

If Putin and Russia continue to be surrounded and marginalized, the world will become ever more hostage to the whims of the Wolves-of-Wall-Street class that drives the energy industry, which in turn drives the policies of the White House, Downing Street and other similar addresses.

Ultimately, it is us, the citizens of the West, who lose big. In allowing uncontested victories by this unelected alliance operating putatively on our behalf, we the people marginalize our own interests. We also ensure that we ourselves never break free of our own political corruption—and remain unable to inaugurate our own real, functioning democracy.

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  • Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

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It IS the Right Thing: another halfascist BS (Bush Shadow) 0bamanable PNAC attack! Nuland lebensraum, Please!! Stop Poppy!!!


Putin’s actions are no more egomaniacal than those of the Western powers who keep trying to push into the former Soviet republics. Russia is acting in its material interests and the Western countries are acting in theirs. The USSR was never out to take over Western Europe and neither is Putin. Putin is being personally demonized in the standard way it is done to any foreign leaders who oppose the US will.


Full Spectrum Dominance by William F. Engdahl. Read this book to understand why those who are going to have their loved one maimed and possibly killed in the next war started by the U.S. should at least know the reason. If a nuclear war starts where does everyone think those who are responsible for starting the war will be? Safe and deep underground in either bunkers or in one of the many underground complexes with food and supplies to last for months while those above ground most likely are killed. ” What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmark will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy.” Henry kissinger.is russia an adversary because Putin refused to being made what Zbigneiw Brzezinski termed a ‘vassal state of the American Empire? The militarization of the Eurasian corridor by the U.S. military is an integral part of Washingtons foreign policy agenda of behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants and to surround Russia and Chins with military bases, listening post and drone bases. Washington sources openly admitted the purpose of AFRICOM is to counter the growing presence of China in Africa.

bionic mosquito

Very good, clearly written post. I offer only one thought for consideration:

“The battle with Russia, like coming battles with China, and like just about every intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere, is for control of energy supplies—the greatest source of wealth in the history of the world.”

Vietnam wasn’t about oil. Afghanistan?

The greatest source of wealth today is in control of the population. Skimming wealth via central banking, taxes, regulation, etc. – through the preferred method of regulatory democracy (as long as it’s “our” guy) or a dictator of some form (if it isn’t). Of course, energy is a necessity in a
modern economy. But control 7 billion people and you will have energy and much, much more.


Afghanistan had lots of minerals in its mountains and those poppy flowers the CIA likes so much. It also borders with the ex-USSR and would be a useful base -if they could ever get the fire under control.


Vietnam borders with China and that was during the time of the Domino Theory, and the dominos were falling regularly back then. Anyways, I think you’re both right, by and large and it is a very good article.

Gordon Johnson

Now, let’s be honest. There are no clean hands here. We have certainly been provoking conflict in Ukraine. And in Syria. These ‘civil wars’ are not coincidentally located in essential territories between Europe and energy reserves. Europe is energy poor, and bankrupted by welfare state policies, but unready to accept the consequences and relinquish the first world. The result is manufactured ‘civil wars’ to secure pipeline routes in order to get the energy to Europe.

The US is working either reflexively to help an upcoming competitor under the illusion that the EU is still within its imperial grasp, or as a client state to the EU, or as corporate branches under the same overarching ownership. Take your pick, or mix and match. All of these have some truth. But pointedly, interfering in these foreign countries is not in the interest of US citizens and IS in the interest of Europeans.

Meanwhile Russia’s hands are far from clean. Russia obtained Crimea by means of genocide against the tartars in the 18th & 19th centuries, and it has continued right to the doorstep of the 21st C.

Ukraine, whose name in Russian means ‘near the edge’, shares cultural and ethnic roots with Russia. Despite this, Ukraine in the last 250 years has become thoroughly dominated by Moscow. Ukrainians are treated by Russians as second-class, are the but of jokes, and suffer a glass ceiling in Russian Society. Furthermore, Russia murdered a huge percent of the Ukrainian population under Stalin by way of forced famine. Some estimates rise as high as HALF the population died this way in the 1920s and 1930s. And Ukrainians have otherwise been brutalized by Russia, and even denied the degree of self-rule afforded to other Soviet Republics. Russia views Ukrainians and the Ukraine as their property, to do with as they please regardless of the desires of the Ukrainians.

More recently, Ukraine wanted higher transit fees in return for delivering Russian gas to Europe, in the ‘Gas Crisis’ of 2008. They made the point that they own the delivery infrastructure, and could arrange to connect it to other gas sources (Turkmenistan via Baku-Georgian pipeline, Middle east via Turkish-Syrian pipeline). The result was Tymoshenko in prison, Ukraine forced to accept Russian Military bases throughout their country, and a signed treaty citing Russia as the sole provider of Gas to the Ukrainian gas transport system – but they did get a small raise in transit fees.

It was a deal worthy of the Godfather.


In simple terms, this mess is just business as usual!


Ukraine is dominated by Moscow? Pennsylvania is dominated by Washington DC. What is the difference?
Russia did not murder Ukrainians. the Soviet Union did. Many of the leaders of the Soviet Union were non-Russians. I am the grandson of Kulaks from Vinnitsya (the people from Ukraine who were starved to death) . My grandparents considered themselves Russians. Stalin was Georgian. Kaganovich was a Jew from Ukraine. Trotsky, Krushchev, Breznev, Chernenko and Gorbachev were all Ukrainian.


if you acknowledge that the empire resides above the US and the EU then things clear up


If Europe is broke, what do you make of the US? And no even a small welfare system in view anywhere in this sorry country.


Deja vu indeed !! But why restrict focus to the recent past? Everyone knows happy-go-lucky plunder has been going on since before(?) biblical times. The modern version of this phenomenon is what, “statecraft?” Such an innocent term. This not so innocent concept called the state is the latest version of “hide behind the curtain” while the “actors” there do what they don’t want everybody to see. The state might just be the biggest get away with it mechanism ever invented, a magician’s sleight of hand writ large.

Notice that the actions of the “state” (if you can even imagine that a concept can act) are always the main political focus. This concept called “country” allegedly taxes, spends, invades this or that territory, robs/tortures/kills innocent/not innocent/whatever people, makes deals, buys golden toilets, wash rinse repeat. What is there to be noticed (politically) if things such as “countries,” “states,” “counties,” “cities” or whatever dingbat terms one might use don’t actually exist, except in the public mind? What if they’re just concepts designed and promoted to rivet attention away from groups of real flesh and blood people doing really nasty stuff.

I’m guessing (hoping?) that if people focused more on the actors rather than on the conceptual entities they hide behind, ostracism from overwhelming shame might shrivel their ranks. Notice that democracies always work great in small villages where everyone knows everybody else. The larger the political unit, the less sociopaths are seen, the more they thrive. Perhaps a well publicized list of these government people is needed, who they are, where they live, and what they actually do. It would be interesting to see how well they continue to live peaceably among neighbors who know who they are, where they live, what they do and what they’ve done.


I love this man’s mind. Baker cuts through the B.S. to get at the truth behind events like a hot knife through butter. I would add to this excellent commentary that behind the opposing “players” sits the one world financial cartel with a plan “A” and “B” depending on the outcome, as they have throughout modern history. Of course the cartel would prefer their western managerial class to succeed as witnessed by their allowance of the destabilization programs to begin with. The cartel shows all the patience in the world as it works towards it’s ultimate goal, using the names of the U.S.of A, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, IMF, World Bank, etcetera on it’s subsidiary’s business cards. Just remember the cartel, their only visible manifestation being the Bank of International Settlements, as considering us all to be occupying their planet. David Rockefeller as a second or third tier member of the cartel spelled it all out for us in his often quoted statement in his auto biography, so who needs whistle blowers to tell us what is going down. If the U.S. fails the cartel it merely shifts backing to the successor with no one the wiser. Think of the old Technocracy movement with a strong neo con political and neo liberal economic mandate.

John Redman

WhoWhatWhy? What happened to WhereWhen?

hp b

Pay no attention to dancing Israelis on Kiev roof tops sniping both sides. (wink wink )


Of course the media never changes its spots. They would get in trouble with the rulers.

David Allen Suddoth

Good article. I find the media either woefully ignorant and provincial. They don’t seem to do a scintilla of fact-finding. Those that do seem to be stunted in the analysis department by their entrenched, inbred ideology. You are better off just keeping in mind two things: human nature doesn’t change ( infinite wants, limited resources ) and some history. You can draw better conclusions than the teleprompter readers or the crayon scribblers can.
( Often the opposite )


Hi Russ, unrelated to this article, Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News. Not sure if that would be a fit for WhoWhatWhy but just wanted to make sure you were aware. She seems to do good investigative journalism (at least from my novice perspective).



Depth and intellect; but what can we do right here at home? My heart goes out to the people of the Ukraine irrespective of all else. It has always been and incredibly still so, the innocent who get decimated physically, economically, psychologically. I sit incredulous that in the 21st century,
U.S. foreign policy smacks of nothing more than a continuation of U.S. foreign policy instituted by the Dulles brothers and global business and energy elites wield all the power. with the exception of the brief beacon of the Presidency of JfK. We are not our government and our government is not us. The Ukrainian people are stuck between tyrants and energy coroporations. I pray for them. It is their nation. Let the people decide.

Lujack Skylark

I really like this article Russ.


America, Britain, Mainland Europe barring the ex Russian orbiting countries, and of course Russia itself, have little primary resources. Russia, and it’s near arctic coastline has abundance.
American, capital need to control those resources, for the benefit of the Americans, and their supra national corporations, now and in the future. The future is going to be about primary resources, who has them and who controls them.
Our resources world wide are finite, we in the west, have persued production for profit, at an ever increasing rate. Our ecology has become destabilized, cutting down of the rain forest, pollution of the seas and the species found within it. air pollution, nuclear pollution, CO2 pollution from fossil fuel use.The slowly increasing warming of the planet is leading to a retreat of the ice caps, and the release of methane gases trapped in the sea beds.
Whilst at one and the same time, we have allowed corporations to do as they please with no social or moral conscience. They have circumvented the laws of the land with impunity, without fear of prosecution. They foist on the public unsafe food and medication. The media, constantly mis inform and dis inform the public in myriad ways. and this is democracy? Well I ask you is this your and my democracy?
The corporations avoid any and all responsibility when it comes to pay for their acts which cause death and destruction to people and their environments, Bopal,Gulf, Exxon, Torrey Canyon, Three mile Island,Fukushima, the list is endless, the suffering immense, the cost very slight to these same corporations, hey are they working in your interests or theirs?
America, now is pushing Russia, to command the resources re the Ukraine, where next maybe Russia, herself?

John Smith

@buster “They have circumvented the laws of the land with impunity, without fear of prosecution. ”

Perhaps it would be an idea to really read the laws that are in place. We all make assumptions in regard to what the law is or we only take the time to understand the words as defined in the dictionary, not the legal definition of those same words.

In most cases, they have not circumvented the laws of the land because when you really read those laws, they are in favor of the actions these corporations have taken. Law itself has been twisted over time to suit this wholesale destruction of moral rightness. It has been a gradual process that each time when it overstepped the mark and people started to notice, was soon forgotten after the people were bribed with some glass beads and blankets.

Come to today, and some people are starting to wake up to the fact that what is happening is morally corrupt and wrong but they are under the false impression that law is still based on such things as morality.

That ship was sold out long ago…..


It must be a kind of depression to live in the US and know all these facts. I am from Czech and I dont like how the US is spreding its hegemony here and there. You are looking to fight someone but is funny to see the US reaction when facing someone strong(er) like Russia, China or Iran then US is only able to treaten. Then the only word Obama knows is sanction them, so stupid mindset.


When you repeat idiotic statements such as Putin – the egomaniac, you marginalize your work. I stopped reading after that sentence. The guy in a scope of 20 years lifted broken country and made it more livable on the level with Europe, major world wide corporations are registered in Russia, free healthcare, etc etc..I would suggest you watch Putins tele marathons, especially one from 2014 on you-tube – and when make a judgement whether he is egomaniac or not. Egomaniacs are currently in a White House, hardly in Kremlin.


I used to like this site.. until I realized it’s controlled alternative media. Global Warming Alarmism, Now Demonizing Putin?


Yes, and next they will start doing tough reporting on…Stalin! And….Bush. Best to stay away. ;-)


I’m a promoter of anywhere the truth can be found, do you have any coding probs on this site? Do you have a hack prob? I noticed irregularities in Contact and following posts? like “A Rumination on the Bilderberg Group”


Ukraine – Odessa 5/02/2014: The Untold Truth of Kulikovo Field [Part 1 ] -Video http://cccp-revivel.blogspot.com/2014/05/odessa-5-02-2014-the-untold-truth-of-kulikovo-field-part1.html

Baron von

One only has to take a look at Zbigniew Brzezinski’s famous book, ‘The Grand Chessboard’ and other works to see how the policies are being shoved at Eurasia and Russia. O’s mentor at Columbia, now advising etc.
Many call Ukraine Nulandstan these days, after she, Kerry’s assistant went to the Neo Nazis, funded them, the coup and now installed them in power. globalresearch.ca and other sites prove it. McCain and Nuland posing w/ the bad actors. The Israeli newspapers site the anguish and fear of Ukrainian Jews now in Ukraine. Ukraine is the jewel piece for takeover of gas and strategic waterways, setting a new NATO base etc. They flubbed it so far, a dangerous game all together. Insanity empire building

J R Smith

I love it when someone else says exactly what I think. You couldn’t have it more right.